LAHORE: Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said martial law cannot be ruled out if violence erupts in the wake of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek protest marches in Islamabad.
“Martial law cannot be ruled out if there is violence in Islamabad,” Gilani said.
He was presiding over a meeting of the PPP leaders held at the residence of Mian Manzoor Wattoo here on Monday.
Sardar Latif Khosa, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Imtaiz Safdar Warrich, Rana Shaukat Mahnood, Raja Riaz, Mian Misbahur Rehman, Azizur Rehman Chann, Dewan Mohyyiuddin, Aurangzeb Burki, Aslam Gill, Raja Amir, Abdul Waheed and Shaukat Basra were present in the meeting which was called to discuss the ongoing political crisis in the country.
Talking to Dawn after the meeting, Mr Gilani said the Sharif brothers should have shown flexibility to defuse the crisis. “Nawaz has ego problem. Shahbaz Sharif should have ordered registration of FIR in Model Town killing incident on the application of PAT.”
Mr Gilani said the PPP was not in favour of civil disobedience as it might aggravate the problems.
“The crisis can be defused only through dialogue but it appears as if the government has wasted a lot of time,” he said.
Earlier, Yousuf Raza Gilani told the meeting that the PPP had accepted the May 2013 elections despite serious concerns regarding rigging. “We only accepted the election results as we wanted continuation of democracy in the country,” he said.
Manzoor Wattoo said the government was the product of the rigged elections and therefore the question of its legitimacy had arisen.
He said the PPP was a responsible party and did not believe in politics of vendetta.
‘“Democracy is the best revenge’ is the guiding principle of the party politics. The PPP does not believe in the politics of violence. We condemn the incident of Model Town in which 14 PAT workers were killed and more than 90 injured due to the use of brutal force by the Punjab government,” he said.
Wattoo said the PPP was supporting democracy and not the bad policies of the PML-N government that had made the lives of the people miserable due to excessive loadshedding of electricity, inflation, worsening law and order and unemployment.
He said the PPP hoped the better sense should prevail and the government along with political leaders should immediately engage the PTI and the PAT to diffuse the situation before it slipped away beyond redemption.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2014